‘Collaboration will prove useful in studying Chinese ceramic pieces’

A six-member Chinese delegation, led by Feng Nai’en, Deputy Director of the Palace Museum in Beijing, held talks with officials of the Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) here on Tuesday to explore the possibility of an academic collaboration in the Pattanam archaeological research.

The delegation discussed mutual research interests and other possible areas of collaboration during discussions with KCHR chairman K.N. Panikkar and Director P.J. Cherian.

Professor Cherian said the delegation expressed interest in collaborating with the research activities related to Pattanam excavations. Members of the delegation represented the Ceramic Institute, part of the Palace Museum.

“Collaboration with the institute will prove useful in studying the 300-odd Chinese ceramic pieces unearthed from Pattanam and the historical links between China and this part of the country,” Professor Cherian said.

Established in 1925, the Palace Museum is housed in the Forbidden City, a world heritage site with extensive collection of artwork and artefacts from the imperial Ming and Qing dynasties.

Professor Cherian said the collaboration with the Palace Museum could possibly extend to the exchange of students for research work.

“The KCHR is willing to accommodate students from China on internship. We hope to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Palace Museum soon,” he said.

The delegation included Tian Yuxiao, Director, Human Resources; Du Rongli, Director, Administrative Services; Li Yongxing, Deputy Director Department of Architectural Conservation; and Wang Guangyao, ceramic expert and research fellow, Department of Objects and Decorative Arts, Palace Museum.

The KCHR has identified Mr. Wang as the potential scholar to study the Chinese ceramic assemblage from Pattanam.